Young & energetic Princes, Princesses, Knights & Magicians... my first drama class at CIS.
The first day I set foot at Chimoio International School ( CIS). I wanted to teach there. I said "Yes!" to myself...but circumstances said "...mmm not yet" . I left my CV of course , as any prospective employee would and I waited, and waited and decided to establish myself as a private tutor for English to the rest of the city while I waited for CIS to announce an opening. They never did but I was exposed to a whole new world of working as a private teacher in Chimoio, Mozambique. As time went on by and my knowledge, wisdom and experience grew, i learnt that when you want something really bad, no amount of waiting patiently will bring it to you. In some few cases being patient is a synonym of delaying. I decided, if the school wont find me, i will reveal myself to it. I was, after all , an incredibly good english teacher who was qualified and not to mention currently doing well as a private teacher to children, young people and adult professionals with unique needs, experiences, goals and levels of language competence. So, being that good, I began to work on a full proof teaching plan. The students at the school were mostly children with parents who had come to work in Mozambique for one or another international organisation and had moved as a family. Some spoke English already but others did not. I knew for a fact that there was always students who needed to learn English first before they could join the main school classes. This was a challenge because 1). the school had an English policy that stipulated that all classes and subjects are taught in English. 2). the teachers were so preoccupied with teaching their subject areas and could not put in extra time to give special, individual attention to new students who could cont speak English. 3). the teachers were foreigners and had no competence in Portuguese which most parents of none English speaking children usually spoke. 4) I was working privately with just that exact target group myself. As a private teacher I had children whom i taught English from the very beginning and had designed a customized step by step guide to teach kids who were beginners of English...a lot of fun filled stories, songs, picture cards, visual and audio aids. 5) I had just recently taught myself a new language, Portuguese, from zero to hero, so to say and I had fresh experience on how it feels to learn a new language and an idea on what to focus on first and so on.
So I took with me my full proof model went to see the Principal at CIS and gave him a proposition that was too good to refuse. I offered to teach voluntarily 4 hours a week, for free, until they could see results and improvements on the students i would be working with , then if they are interested I could charge them the same hourly fee I was charging my private students outside the school, not much at all. I targeted the new arrivals and made it possible for the school to increase its enrollment on the grounds that they could take in students who had virtually no experience and knowledge of English and groom them to be good at writing, reading, speaking and understanding English as well as all the other common subjects taught at the school. I also offered to create a drama club and a reading club to promote reading at the school. I would work with the 2nd graders at drama and 5, 6 & 7 graders would read Oliver twist which I would teach as well as supply copies of the book then train them to act the story out at the end of the term during the school closing and graduation ceremony. The Principal accepted and I got to work. It was a wonderfully enriching time.
When I got another job offer to work as a communication representative for the Mozambican office for an international humanitarian aid organisation I left the school and took on new challenges.
I later returned to CIS, when the humanitarian aid project came to a finish, and worked as a permanent staff member, but that turned out to be only a 6 month period because I migrated to Sweden. During this time at CIS I worked as an Upper secondary English literature teacher and had fun teaching Shakespeare, Poetry and African and European prose- following the Cambridge examinations curriculum. To the 7th graders I taught English language, English literature, geography and history.
In Sweden I am once again in love with the experience of teaching English at high school. I am also fast becoming fluent in the Swedish language after a year and a half. I am currently making efforts at seeking opportunities to teach English and knocking on a some doors. I have only done interns so far and its been exciting. I truly believe I have quite a lot to offer to the Swedish youth, thanks to my vast experience working with English learners from different cultural backgrounds and with unique experiences, competences and visions in regard to learning solid skills in English. I am positive that the opportunity will soon present itself.